Smart pills represent a new way to combine technologies in which each element in the stack plays a critical role. The essential components of digital medications include a drug, an ingestible sensor, a wearable patch that receives data from the ingestible sensor, and a mobile app. The app has patient-facing and physician-facing components plus analytical metrics for health system administrators. By combining all these components into a single system, you get results that benefit patients and healthcare professionals.

Proteus Digital Health, Fairview Medical Services, and University of Minnesota Health jointly announced a digital oncology medicine care model designed to support cancer patients during chemotherapy treatment cycles. Rather than go to a hospital or treatment center, patients can take digital capecitabine, a drug commonly used to stop or slow growth of breast, colon, and rectal cancer cells. Digital capecitabine includes an ingestible sensor developed by Proteus.

Pharmacists working with the project can monitor patient medication regimens remotely to offer support as needed. Clinical care teams can track patient compliance and modify treatment programs with more patient-specific data than when patients travel to chemo centers and leave after each treatment. According to Proteus, patients feel more in control when they remain in their homes with personalized information and remote assistance, which leads to greater compliance.

Treatment outcomes improve for all entities with this digital medicine model, according to Proteus. Patients are less stressed and more involved when using digital medicine, care teams receive accurate continuous data about compliance and physiologic effects, and even health care managers receive data and analytics they need to keep the system working.

In conjunction with its digital oncology medicine program, Proteus has established a digital oral oncolytic medication registry. The registry will collect data and experience history from cancer patients using digital capecitabine across many facilities. The registry’s purpose is to use more diverse data to support even better patient outcomes.